The longest continuous stretch of the Old Route 66 that still remains today is the path from Seligman to Kingman in Arizona, which, at 86 miles, passes by both Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive In and the Grand Canyon Caverns. But in the western half of this segment, seemingly unannounced, lies one of the kitschiest stops on the Mother Road.
Hackberry General Store, located in the former mining town of Hackberry, Arizona, is bypassed by many Route 66 travelers, oftentimes because they simply blink and miss it. Unannounced by signage and isolated in the middle of desert, this hidden gem may be driven by countless times, but those who have decided to pull in know it to be a must stop for all Route 66 travelers.
Nicknamed the “Mother Load of Mother Road Memorabilia”, the Hackberry General Store is packed wall to wall with historic signs and artifacts. It also features a root beer bar and an internationally recognized shelter dog (best known for its spot on Harley Davidson and United Airlines commercials). The exterior of the general store is just as quirky. Historic Pegasus gas pumps, rusted-over Model As from the early 20th century, and a red ‘57 Corvette are scattered across the general store’s facade. A walk around will take you to animal head skeletons, a yellow “jack rabbit crossing” sign, and five original Burma Shave signs.
Hackberry General Store was once a lifeline for a few dozen people. In 1874, when silver was discovered in the area, the town of Hackberry was founded, home of “shooting, fighting, and faro.” The town grew in 1882, when a railroad was built through Hackberry, allowing ranchers and miners to export their products further than ever before. Unfortunately, the nearest place to find groceries, gas, and other needs was Kingman, a full day’s drive in a Model A. Although it only served a small community of workers, the Hackberry General Store was a vital resource for the town.
Unfortunately, Hackberry lost its main draw and nearly became a ghost town in 1919, when the Hackberry Silver Mine was closed down. However, it was revitalized a few decades later, when Route 66’s path crossed directly through town.
As of now, Hackberry has a population of 68 and is a unique must-stop for those who get their kicks on Route 66.